The health and life insurance industry news roundup for this week.

With insurers becoming increasingly reliant on technology to help them operate efficiently and effectively, research and advisory firm Novarica has published two new CIO checklist and best practices reports. These executive briefs provide checklists and best practices to overcome any lingering reluctance about system replacement or modernization, as well as a range of approaches that IT leaders can use to help position themselves and their organizations for more productive and constructive engagement with their business partners. A free preview of the CIO Checklist Report: Overcoming Reluctant Users report is available here. For the CIO Checklist Report: Running IT Like a Business report, go here.

Also, on Monday, June 22nd at 2 pm (ET) Jeff Goldberg & Mitch Wein will participate in Novarica’s CIO series webinar: Preparing for Digital Transformation and Overcoming Reluctant users. This free webinar will discuss technology implementation strategies and best practices. This webinar is open to all insurance professionals. Interested participants should pre-register online here.

GroupHub, a healthcare IT startup, announced that it has completed the Blueprint Health Winter 2015 Accelerator program with 10 pilot programs at independent benefits brokerages across the country. GroupHub was one of seven early-stage health IT companies selected from among 300 submissions to participate in the Winter 2015 program. Blueprint Health’s prestigious three-month programs provide participants with access to capital, clients and guidance from the world’s largest and most engaged health-care-specific mentor community. Program participants receive $20,000 in cash, more than $70,000 in perks, and office space at Blueprint Health’s 12,000 sf SoHo loft, which is home to 45 additional health tech startups, thought leaders, and funders. The mentor-driven program has built a strong track record of building successful companies; nearly 85 percent of startups that have completed the three-month accelerator program (begun with the Summer 2012 program) remain in business and generate revenue.

GroupHub provides independent benefits brokers with online enrollment software that enables them to compete with disruptive technology companies seeking to replace them. The GroupHub platform can save independent brokers more than 90 percent of their administrative costs and free up more than 30 percent of their time. GroupHub is now ready to market its automated employee benefits enrollment platform that delivers a fast, user friendly experience. It is HIPAA level 7 compliant, able to determine eligibility verification, mobile device enabled, and interoperable with both the various systems in the Federal and State insurance exchanges and the private health insurance market.

VUE Software has completed the implementation of Producer Compensation Management and Producer Portal for Core Benefits Insurance, a national insurance distributor with more than 300 agents selling insurance products for over 70 carriers. This implementation allows Core Benefits to consolidate multiple data sources into one efficient and easy to access system. As a result, Core Benefits now has complete autonomy over its compensation management and can create and manage multiple hierarchies. The company now has the ability to create incentive plans and streamline producer payments. Producers will have 24/7/365 access to their books of business, and demographic and commission information through the Producer Portal.

Laser App Software, a provider of forms automation and management software for the securities and insurance industries, announced that registration for the inaugural Laser App Advisor Con 2015 is open. The conference will be focused on demonstrating technology adoption for the broker-dealer community and will be held October 7-8 at The Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Advisor Con is specifically designed to bring technology adoption to the people who need it the most. The focus of this new conference will be to get advisors to use the technology that’s been demonstrated to help their business. Attendees will also enjoy valuable networking opportunities, Q&A sessions, presentations by industry leaders and more. For more information and to register, please go here.

Meanwhile, the conference will complement the Laser App 2015 Financial Services Conference, which will be held August 18-21 at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina. For more information on the 2015 Financial Services Conference or to register, go here.

Brightway Insurance Agency owner Cody Casey opened the company’s first-ever agency in the state of Colorado on Monday, April 27, the company announced via press release. Brightway, the Casey family agency is located at 7399 South Tucson Way, Suite B-3 in Centennial. Brightway Insurance is a national property and casualty insurance retailer, which also sells life insurance, selling through a network of franchised independent agencies throughout the country. The company now has 117 stores in ten states. Casey, who has lived in Douglas County for 10 years, will press his decade of customer service experience into action as he provides expert insurance counsel and the choice of more than 25 insurance companies to customers. Brightway began franchising operations in 2008, is privately owned and has 117 franchise locations in nine states. In 2014, the company was named a Top 500 Franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for the second year in a row, the 9th Best Franchise with Less Than $150,000 in Entry Costs by Forbes, and the company was also named to Florida’s Fast 100 by Florida Business Journals for the second year in a row.

During its spring board meeting earlier this month, the LIMRA LOMA Secure Retirement InstituteTM board of directors elected Kent Callahan to be the next chairman, and Aimee DeCamillo to be vice chair succeeding David Levenson of Edward Jones. With more than 30 years industry experience, Callahan is a member of the Transamerica U.S. Management Board and serves as president and CEO of the Investments & Retirement (I&R) division, which consists of Transamerica’s mutual fund, variable annuity, synthetic GIC, U.S. institutional retirement plans and COLI/BOLI businesses. Transamerica’s I&R division represents 25,500 plan sponsors and 5.4 million Americans with $295 billion of revenue generating investments (as of December 31, 2014).  Callahan succeeds the Institute’s first chairman, David Levenson. Aimee DeCamillo was elected vice chair for the Institute and will succeed Callahan in 2016.  DeCamillo, who served as the Financial Literacy Committee Chair in the Institute’s inaugural year, is vice president and head of T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services, Inc. In this role, she is responsible for more than 3,500 retirement plans, representing approximately 2 million participants, and with approximately $155 billion of assets under administration as of March 31, 2015. According to the Board’s governance rules, each officer will serve a one-year term, offering direction to the retirement research and educational programs for LIMRA LOMA Secure Retirement Institute.

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) is proud to announce Peter C. Browne, LUTCF, co-founder of Price, Raffel & Browne, as the recipient of the 74th annual John Newton Russell Memorial Award. The award is the highest honor accorded by the insurance industry to a living individual who has rendered outstanding services to the institution of life insurance. Browne will receive the award October 4, 2015, at the NAIFA Career Conference and Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Browne began his career in the insurance industry in 1962 as an agent in the Rochester agency of the Union Central Life Insurance Company. He was a part of the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Business Work Block Program as a college agent. He became the Rochester agency manager in 1964, where he recruited and mentored numerous agents who went on to great success. In 1970, the Union Central Life Insurance Company sent Mr. Browne to New York City as an aspiring manager of the C.B. Knight Agency, which at one time was considered to be one of the country’s largest life insurance general agencies.

Browne also served for years on the NAIFA Board of Trustees and as treasurer of the national organization. He is a past-president of NAIFA-New York State, as well as NAIFA-New York City. He has served on the Board of Trustees of The American College and is currently the immediate past chairman of the American College Foundation Board. At The American College, he was instrumental in creating and funding the Larry R. Pike Chair in Insurance and Investments. In 2010, The American College awarded Mr. Browne the President’s Trophy, and in 2012 Mr. Browne was awarded the Huebner Gold Medal along with his good friend and past John Newton Russell Award recipient Alan Press, CLU, LUTCF. Mr. Browne is a past member of the Life Happens Board of Trustees and a past member of the national board of the Life Underwriters Training Council and the board of GAMA International.

New York Life has been named one of DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity,” ranking 27th nationally on this prestigious list. New York Life was recognized for its talent pipeline, equitable talent development, CEO and leadership commitment and supplier diversity. “With more than 1,000 companies participating, the competition for a spot on the DiversityInc Top 50 and Specialty Lists increased over 30 percent this year,” said DiversityInc founder and CEO, Luke Visconti. “Companies are recognizing the importance of diversity for corporate reputation, which directly affects millennial-generation recruiting and retention. And whether you’re talking about Silicon Valley or Indiana, there’s no denying that stories about how far we still need to come regarding diversity have been dominating the headlines in 2015.” For the entire Top 50 list, go here or follow the conversation online with #DITop50

In other New York Life company news, they announced that Julie Herwig has been elected a senior vice president in its Office of Governmental Affairs. Herwig is responsible for managing public policy issues impacting New York Life at the federal and international levels. Herwig joined New York Life in 2006 as assistant vice president, legislative affairs, in the company’s Washington, D.C. office. Prior to joining New York Life, she worked as trade counsel for the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, advising Members of Congress on international trade negotiations and other legislative and regulatory trade issues. Herwig also previously worked for a member of the Ways and Means Committee, a member of the U.S. Senate and as an attorney at Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells LLP).